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MetLife Study Finds Family Ties Bind

For Baby Boomer’s and members of Generation Y reciprocity is name of the game and although contemporary America is a far cry from the era of Confucius,  most Americans believe they should help their parents in old age in return for their financial support during youth, according to a recent MetLife study.

The study, Multi-Generational Views on Family and Financial Obligations found that members of the respective generations agree that parents should support their children through their college years although they don’t think parents should be responsible for 100 percent of tuition.

With respect to the current state of the economy both parties might need to agree when it comes to financial assistance. The trend of grown children staying in their parent’s home after college is not going to change anytime soon and parents who may be laid-off or struggling to retire might reach out to their children for help without the hesitation and embarrassment that involved such ventures in the past; only 42% of parents say that they would not accept money from their children.

There is, however, a gap when it comes to caring for your family, whether it be parents or children. The Study found that 41 percent of Americans with life insurance feel that their coverage falls short of what is needed. “Americans have a strong desire to help their families financially, but their generosity is not unbounded. While the research shows money provided to help with specific financial issues is a reflection of love and caring not a familial obligation, parents and children are not prepared to give in all instances, said Sandra Timmerman, Ed. D., director of the MetLife Market Institute.

The survey, which was conducted from June 29 through July 10, 2011 online includes American’s age 21 through 65 with household incomes of at least $40,000 a year. 

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